by Caitlin Huston
Forty-four pigs made it to market, but ahead of schedule.
The pigs were reported stolen early Wednesday morning from a hog barn owned by Thomas Bradfield on 900 East in Logansport. Blake Garrett Richard Rigsby, 20, and Derrik R. Bell, 22, both of Walton, were arrested after the pigs turned up at a Shipshewana auction house.
After the report of stolen pigs, Detective Dale Campbell with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department said they received a tip that two suspects were trying to sell 44 pigs at Shipshewana Auction Inc. in LaGrange County.
Campbell said the Shipshewana Police Department looked at the pigs and found their brand also matched that of the stolen pigs.
“We were able to positively identify the pigs,” Campbell said.
The pigs are owned by TDM, which contracts with Bradfield and his employees.
Employees of the auction house told police two men had brought them the pigs Wednesday, and that the men had also sold them 34 pigs the previous week.
Rigsby and Bell were still waiting in the parking lot to receive money for the pigs and were arrested Wednesday night, Campbell said.
The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the investigation.
Campbell estimated that the 44 pigs could have been sold for between $3,500 and $4,000. The two men received $5,400 for the 34 pigs sold the week before.
Campbell said they have not yet identified where the 34 pigs came from.
The Logansport barn had about 5,000 pigs in all, he said. Campbell estimated the pigs were stolen at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and could have been loaded up in a matter of 15 minutes.
“They had a Gooseneck farm trailer,” Campbell said.
Both Rigsby and Bell face a charge of possession of stolen property in LaGrange County because they had the stolen pigs in the county, Campbell said.
He said he expects them to face burglary charges in Cass County as well.
Rigbsy and Bell both bonded out of the LaGrange County Jail Thursday on $400 surety bonds.
Because the pigs were taken out of the barn, they could have been contaminated, so the owner agreed to sell them.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or email@example.com.
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